National Hispanic Heritage Month occurs from September 15 to October 15. Hispanic Heritage Month gives us an opportunity to reflect on and honor the Hispanic-American culture, history, and contributions we have made to our country.
Whether our ancestors or we came from central or south America, we are united by shared experiences, values, passions, and dreams for our future. What unites us the most is our immense desire for good health, education opportunities, career growth, and good quality of life for our families while pursuing the American Dream.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we must also bring awareness of our community’s struggles and needs.
According to a September 2022 report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the first ever drop in mathematics scores and the most significant recorded drop in reading scores among 9-year-old students since 1990!
The most significant drops impacted minority students, with math scores dropping 13 points among Black students, followed by Hispanic and multiracial (eight points), Asian (six), white (five), and American Indian/Alaska Native (two). Additionally, reading scores fell by eight points among students of two or more races and six points among Black, Hispanic, and white students.
Not surprisingly, researchers believe that the impacted communities didn’t have access to technology and academic support during remote schooling, meaning computers, high-speed internet, a quiet place to study, and a teacher or tutor available to help with schoolwork.
At the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, we know that our community’s aspirations for higher education start in kindergarten. For that reason, our foundation invests in the future of Silicon Valley Latino students. Our Educational Excellence Initiatives work to level the playing field for Latino students in our region through our Hispanic Foundation College Success Program (HFCSP) and the Latinos in Technology Scholarship, which are already producing student success stories.
We must keep connecting Hispanic families to essential information, resources, and programs to help their children navigate their educational journey. That’s why supporting our education initiatives is so important; it is necessary to continue increasing high school graduation rates; improve college readiness, increase student and parent knowledge about the college journey, and increase the number of students attending college.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of our people, but it also serves as a reminder, a call to action, bestowed upon all of us to do better. I encourage you to take action today, supporting our education initiatives; or volunteering.
President & CEO,
Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley